The T-Bones

I had thought that the T-Bones were an instrumental group

My friend Donnie gave me a T-Bones album for my 2022 birthday, “Everyone’s Gone To The Moon (And Other Trips)” on Liberty Records. I went home and played the record and noticed that they had a singer on all but “Paint It Black”, an excellent instrumental cover of one of my favorite Rolling Stones songs, on side one. Side two is all instrumentals, so I decided to research the group.

I had thought that the T-Bones were an instrumental group. It turns out that they did start that way. They were the Wrecking Crew playing songs under the T-Bones name devised by Liberty Records producer Dave Pell and attached to generic surf and hot rod instrumental records put out by Liberty in the early to mid-’60s.

They should not be confused with the Gary Farr and the T-Bones from England where Keith Emerson (Emerson, Lake & Palmer) started. To keep the confusion down in England the group I’m writing about was known as the “U.S. T-Bones”.

In 1966 when the single “No Matter What Shape (Your Stomach’s In)” was released by the T-Bones, it was a big hit. The single spent 13 weeks on the Billboard Hot 100, reaching No. 3 while reaching No. 1 on Canada’s RPM Play Sheet. With this success, Dave Pell wanted the group to tour to promote the record and album. The Wrecking Crew studio guys turned down the offer.

T-Bone Albums
  • Boss Drag (1964) – Liberty LRP-3346/LST-7346
  • Boss Drag at the Beach (1964) – Liberty LRP-3363/LST-7363
  • Doin’ the Jerk (1965) – Liberty LRP-3404/LST-7404
  • No Matter What Shape (Your Stomach’s In) (1966) – Liberty LRP-3439/LST-7439
  • Sippin’ and Chippin’ (1966) – Liberty LRP-3446/LST-7446
  • Everyone’s Gone To The Moon (And Other Trips) (1966) – Liberty LRP-3471/LST-7471
  • Shapin’ Things Up (1965) – Sunset SUM-1119/SUS-5119[1]
T-Bones 12/26/63
  • Dave Pell – leader
  • Steve Douglas – saxophone
  • Ervan Coleman
  • Tommy Tedesco – guitar
  • Glen Campbell – guitar
  • Lyle Ritz
  • M. Ray Pohlman
  • Plas Johnson – saxophone
  • Hal Blaine – drums
  • Perry Botkin Jr.
  • Frank Capp
T-Bones 12/09/65

Dave Pell, leader
Perry Botkin Jr., OM, arranger
Tommy Tedesco, guitar
Victor Feldman
Hal Blaine, drums
Julius Wechter, percussion
Ervan Coleman
Buddy Clark
Carol Kaye, electric bass guitar
Lyle Ritz, upright bass
Harold “Lanky” Lindstrot, engineer
Evelyn Roberts
Martin Berman
Roger Harris, copy
Robert Ross, copy
Joe Saraceno, producer

Pell put together a “public” T-Bones to hit the road and make all the radio and TV appearances. This group would carry out this mission and even record the last T-bones album, “Everyone’s Gone To The Moon (And Other Trips)”, my recent birthday gift. In 1970 these “public” T-Bones would become the soft rock trio “Hamilton, Joe Frank and Reynolds”.

Public T-Bones
  • Judd Hamilton — guitar
  • Danny Hamilton — guitar
  • Joe Frank Carollo — bass
  • Tommy Reynolds — keyboards / vibraphone / percussion
  • Gene Pello — drum


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Author: Doyle

I was born in Atlanta, moved to Alpharetta at 4, lived there for 53 years and moved to Decatur in 2016. I've worked at such places as Richway, North Fulton Medical Center, Management Science America (Computer Tech/Project Manager) and Stacy's Compounding Pharmacy (Pharmacy Tech).

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